Priyanka Gandhi roars into Uttar Pradesh with roadshow
Lucknow: Making her political debut as Congress general secretary, Priyanka Gandhi on Monday roared into Uttar Pradesh with thousands cheering as her cavalcade slowly made its way through the city during a roadshow, being seen as launch of the party's campaign in the state ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Accompanied by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and in charge of the western region Jyotiraditya Scindia, the beaming 47-year-old sported a kurta and a stole and waved at the teeming party workers jostling for a glimpse.
Enthusiastic Congress workers took to the streets to celebrate the arrival of the two new AICC in-charges, with party tricolours and hoardings all over giving the city a festive look. Since morning, Congress workers were seen busy giving final touches to the arrangements for the roadshow, distributing food packets, tea and water to passersby. Patriotic songs were played on loudspeakers perking up the mood.
Some posters showed Priyanka in 'Durga Mata' avatar riding on a lion. "Maa Durga ka roop behen Priyankaji" (Sister Priyankaji is Maa Durga's incarnation) said one poster, while some others highlighted her resemblance to Indira Gandhi, her grandmother.
Besides workers of other front organisations of the party, some Congress workers — said to be members of Priyanka Sena, a little known outfit — were seen wearing pink T-shirts with her photograph. "With the Priyanka Sena at the Nehru Bhawan, Lucknow it is almost celebration here," tweeted Sushmita Dev, president of all India Mahila Congress.
An enthusiastic party general secretary Shailendra Tewari has customised his car to welcome Priyanka with the banner reading, " Aa gai priyanka...baj gaya danka... brashtachar ki ab lagegi Lanka..."
A day before her maiden visit to Uttar Pradesh as Congress general secretary, Priyanka Gandhi said that together with the people of the state she hopes to start a "new kind of politics" in which everyone will be a stakeholder. The two general secretaries will interact with party workers at the state Congress office in Lucknow on February 12, 13 and 14.
Cong to play on 'front foot' in UP
Asserting that Congress will "play on front foot" in Uttar Pradesh, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said he and his party will not sit idle till it forms a government in the state.
During a roadshow, the Congress president said he has asked Priyanka and Scindia, the new general secretaries, their mandate is to bring a government in the state that will ensure justice for all. "Their aim is definitely the Lok Sabha elections, but also to bring a Congress government here," he said. "Till a Congress ideology government is installed here (UP), we will not sit idle and ensure justice to the farmers, the youth, the poor," he added.